Russia moving to single market from Baltics to Pacific

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President Dmitry Medvedev said Wednesday that Russia is moving towards establishing a single market "from the Baltics to the Pacific" and that he hoped to join the WTO this year.

In his keynote address to the World Economic Forum in Davos, the president said that "all our trading partners have promised" that Russia will gain entry to the World Trade Organization this year.

Following that, Russia aims to join the OECD.

Outlining plans to establish also a common economic area with the European Union -- as well as a customs union with Belarus and Kazakhstan -- Medvedev stressed these "processes are of major significance.

"In other words, we are moving towards establishing a single market from the Baltics to the Pacific," he told the forum.

Russia launched its bid to join the WTO in 1993 and is the only major economy that is still not a member of the Geneva-based global trade body.

The Paris-based Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development started off as a grouping of the world's major, mostly Western economies, but since the fall of communism in the Soviet Union, it has expanded its membership steadily, including countries from former Soviet states in Eastern Europe.

© 2011 AFP

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